Question

What kitchen countertop materials do not contain VOCs or emit radon?

Asked by Jen
Virginia Beach, VA

My husband and I are replacing laminate kitchen countertops in the home we purchased. We need a material that does not emit VOCs or radon or have other scary stuff in it. I have extreme chemical sensitivities and obviously don't want to suck down radon either. We are overwhelmed by the pros and cons of the available materials. Wood is awesome but I heard it off gasses formaldehyde! Glass is pretty but most contain fly ash which I heard is toxic. Granite and quartz have radon. Paper counters require sealing and have resin (not LEED certified). What materials are best? We are at a stand still trying to make this decision. Thank you for your help!

Answer

Bill Bradbury

Answered by Bill Bradbury

Smithfield, UT

Envirocon Home Restoration

September 9, 2013

Wood is one of the greatest building materials of all time and it does not off gas anything harmful.

  • Formaldehyde is only present in the extremely cheap glues used for particle board and the like.
  • High quality Maple butcher block manufacturers in the US use food grade glues.

Finish them in Howard Butcher block oil or food grade mineral oil and natural bee's wax.

I choose my building products like I choose my food, the less processed and more natural, the better.

 

For more information:

Read our countertop backgrounder "Choosing Kitchen Countertops: Our Top Picks."

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